Erik Cason is a cypherpunk and author of Cryptosovereignty: The Encrypted Political Philosophy of Bitcoin. In this interview, we discuss his book, philosophy, censorship in academia, and Erik’s personal journey from socialism to anarchism. We also talk about technology’s use for state control and violence, the potential of Bitcoin to decentralize power, the philosophical implications of Bitcoin, the potential of living in a virtual world and the nature of consciousness.
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Erik Cason is a philosopher, cypherpunk, crypto-anarchist, educator and author. He has just published a book exploring the intersection of Bitcoin, sovereignty, and cryptography in the 21st century. The book’s basis was a series of essays Eric has produced over the years that have focused on the philosophical and sociological aspects of cryptography and Bitcoin.
Eric shared his journey from the Occupy Wall Street movement to discovering Bitcoin and embracing anarchism. His experience of being beaten by the police during a protest led to his realization that the state cannot be relied upon for help. We also discussed the accountability of police officers when they use their firearms, comparing the UK to the US.
Our discussion touched on the dangers of a monopoly on violence by the state, mentioning historical genocides and the efficiency of the current Chinese Uighur genocide in eradicating a people’s culture. We talked about the normalization of weapons of mass destruction and the potential for a nuclear holocaust. We debated whether Bitcoin can end wars versus the concept of an “infinity war” perpetuated by the state.
Eric suggested that Bitcoin represents a return to truth in a world that has become nihilistic and devoid of values. He talked about how through advanced mathematics and cryptography, Bitcoin allows for a monetary system that enables true accountability. Bitcoin is a radical way of regaining control over money and limiting the overbearing nature of governments, allowing individuals to make ethical choices even in the face of destruction.
Eric fundamentally believes that Satoshi Nakamoto opened up a new frontier for warfare on the internet and provided a space for rebellion movements to operate against oppressive states. That tool still relies on humans who believe in freedom, taking agency: it is vitally important for everyone to take responsibility for addressing societal issues to ensure a better future for our children.